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  • Cowboy
    replied
    I watched Farrell's interview in the rugberdome (Abbotstown). I was heartened by what he said, he pointed out that sending the players Carol singing on Grafton was about making them 'comfortable with being uncomfortable' and they were having Santa visit after training for the players families. He also pointed out how important it was for the players to give back via charity and their time. All small little nods I felt to previous regimes

    It's a small thing and you could view it from many angles but the slate is now clean and he's worth his shot at the gig. I wish him and those around him nothing but success

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  • Finnegan79
    replied
    Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

    The kicking point is really valid one and one that I hadn't considered. If Cooney is the starting 9 then it becomes less of an issue, but yes, you wouldn't want him coming off to bench to kick for the first time in the season in an international match.

    I'm less convinced about Ross Byrne. He didn't look like he was ready for international rugby 4 months ago(against England) and I'm not sure a whole lot has changed since then. Its one thing performing behind a dominant Leinster forward pack against poor quality teams, it's another thing performing against top class international packs, with big ball-runners running down your channel.

    It could be that Burns isn't ready either, but I think we have slightly more evidence to suggest he could adapt to international rugby. He consistently starts for his province and performs well. This is despite playing with a relatively small Ulster pack - who are often on the back-foot.
    Nobody wearing a green jersey looked like they were ready for international rugby that day. Honestly I think the perception around Byrne has been seriously influenced by the fact that we've been sold Carbery as the heir apparent for such a long time now that it is ingrained in our minds that he is for sure the backup to Sexton b/c he is far and away a better player despite the fact that Byrne has played well in many big games and not all of them have been against pushover teams. Cullen and Lancaster preferred him as the backup 10, the reason being Carbery could cover 15 so they played him there more often. Seemed to make sense but I have to wonder if that is actually the case or did they think that Byrne was a better fit for what they wanted to do ? Did they think/know Carbery was injury prone based on how they saw him train ? We don't know and possibly never will.

    As for the rest of them, right now Carty is out of form, but played well last weekend when he came on, Hanrahan has done well all season and fully deserves a legitimate chance at making the 6N squad. Burns is playing well; the kicking issue reminds me of Wales with Halfpenny and Biggar. Biggar is a great kicker, Halfpenny was world class off the tee,so he took the kicks. Maybe it isn't that Burns can't get it done off the tee, its just that Cooney is just a notch above. At any rate, Cooney should be starting so it won't matter who the 10 is behind Sexton. The kicking duties would shift to Cooney is he is on the pitch.

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  • Mumhain
    replied
    Originally posted by mr chips View Post

    I woudln't have said this last season, but based on current/most recent form I'd move JJ up that pecking order and certainly place him ahead of Burns. Carty's provincial form was recognised with significant involvement in the national side last season and there's no reason the same can't happen for JJ, particularly at a time when Jack has unfortunately entered something of a dip. On top of that, Freddie takes virtually no place kicks, and until he can show he's capable of doing that regularly at provincial level he doesn't belong in a national squad ahead of a guy who's been kicking well for his provincial side throughout the season as well as showing some consistently good playmaking ability.

    I'd also move Byrne up at least one place, if not two or three - while he may not have quite the same attacking vision that JJ has been displaying recently, he's still very assured and a very reliable place kicker. In fact, if Carbery were unable to return on schedule and continues to miss out through injury up to the 6N, I'd have JJ and Byrne fighting it out for the bench spot. TBH I'd even throw Ben Healy into the training squad. Nurture the talent when it emerges.
    The kicking point is really valid one and one that I hadn't considered. If Cooney is the starting 9 then it becomes less of an issue, but yes, you wouldn't want him coming off to bench to kick for the first time in the season in an international match.

    I'm less convinced about Ross Byrne. He didn't look like he was ready for international rugby 4 months ago(against England) and I'm not sure a whole lot has changed since then. Its one thing performing behind a dominant Leinster forward pack against poor quality teams, it's another thing performing against top class international packs, with big ball-runners running down your channel.

    It could be that Burns isn't ready either, but I think we have slightly more evidence to suggest he could adapt to international rugby. He consistently starts for his province and performs well. This is despite playing with a relatively small Ulster pack - who are often on the back-foot.

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  • Cowboy
    replied
    Originally posted by mr chips View Post

    I woudln't have said this last season, but based on current/most recent form I'd move JJ up that pecking order and certainly place him ahead of Burns. Carty's provincial form was recognised with significant involvement in the national side last season and there's no reason the same can't happen for JJ, particularly at a time when Jack has unfortunately entered something of a dip. On top of that, Freddie takes virtually no place kicks, and until he can show he's capable of doing that regularly at provincial level he doesn't belong in a national squad ahead of a guy who's been kicking well for his provincial side throughout the season as well as showing some consistently good playmaking ability.

    I'd also move Byrne up at least one place, if not two or three - while he may not have quite the same attacking vision that JJ has been displaying recently, he's still very assured and a very reliable place kicker. In fact, if Carbery were unable to return on schedule and continues to miss out through injury up to the 6N, I'd have JJ and Byrne fighting it out for the bench spot. TBH I'd even throw Ben Healy into the training squad. Nurture the talent when it emerges.
    I dont disagree with any of that, however, unless JJ can slot match winning drop goals and demand the ball to lash over a LBP gaining penalty he is not going to force his way into the reckoning.


    Test rugby is about those key moments of mental clarity and nerve than running the ball (IMHO). Not saying he cannot do that, he just needs to do it more often and consistently to be included in Abbotstown going forward

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  • Munsterboy
    replied
    If Burns should be up the pecking order for steady, consistent performances, Byrne should too. He’s very solid.

    Carty will be back and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his form improve from here on. His try against us, throwing that dummy and going himself, was the act of a strong, stubborn character.

    Not all that much between JJ, Byrne, Burns and Carty, and there are a few more emerging of similar quality.

    Joey has a higher ceiling than all of them IMHO but he has a bit of work to do, if he can stay fit.

    Leave a comment:


  • mr chips
    replied
    Originally posted by Mumhain View Post
    In my opinion, the pecking order of fly-halves should be: 1. Sexton, 2. Carbery, 3. Burns, 4. Hanrahan, 5. Carty, 6. Byrne.
    I woudln't have said this last season, but based on current/most recent form I'd move JJ up that pecking order and certainly place him ahead of Burns. Carty's provincial form was recognised with significant involvement in the national side last season and there's no reason the same can't happen for JJ, particularly at a time when Jack has unfortunately entered something of a dip. On top of that, Freddie takes virtually no place kicks, and until he can show he's capable of doing that regularly at provincial level he doesn't belong in a national squad ahead of a guy who's been kicking well for his provincial side throughout the season as well as showing some consistently good playmaking ability.

    I'd also move Byrne up at least one place, if not two or three - while he may not have quite the same attacking vision that JJ has been displaying recently, he's still very assured and a very reliable place kicker. In fact, if Carbery were unable to return on schedule and continues to miss out through injury up to the 6N, I'd have JJ and Byrne fighting it out for the bench spot. TBH I'd even throw Ben Healy into the training squad. Nurture the talent when it emerges.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mumhain
    replied
    Agree with a lot of what has been said above. Having the likes of Kelleher, Doris and Hanrahan/Burns in the match-day squad, would give some much needed freshness to the squad.

    I can understand the Jack Carty decision. In my opinion, Carty is making too many basic errors at the moment. If he sorts them out, he should come back into the reckoning. Billy Burns is very underrated, in my opinion. While he might not be able to produce the high moments that Carty and Hanrahan can, he has a baseline performance of 7/10 and he rarely dips below it. In my opinion, the pecking order of fly-halves should be: 1. Sexton, 2. Carbery, 3. Burns, 4. Hanrahan, 5. Carty, 6. Byrne.

    The biggest call that Andy Farrell will have to make is John Cooney vs Conor Murray. We all know how good Murray can be, but to be honest, there has been a chasm in the level of performance of Cooney vs Murray, over the past 12 months. Even Murray's biggest strength, his box-kicking, has been inferior to Cooney's. Round 4 of the champions cup was good example of this. In Harlequins vs Ulster, at least 90% of Cooney's box-kicks were contestable. In the Munster game the following day, I can only recall one of Munster's box-kicks giving the chasers a chance to compete. Admittedly, Munster's game plan may just have been to kick deep and Saracens were running all sort of blocking lines, but some of the kicks just seemed to be half-where to nowhere. They were neither short enough for Munster players to compete or long enough for Munster to gain any sort of territorial advantage. Murray is too good a player to leave out of the squad, but at the moment, I think Cooney should be the starter, with Jamison Gibson-Parkand Murray battling for the 21 jersey.

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  • ustix
    replied
    Sounds good to me. How bad if they forge a link with life less corporate

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  • Sulla
    replied
    The stocktake squad had a team bonding Carol singalong on Grafton and O'Connell Sts yesterday for Focus Irl

    Leave a comment:


  • Piquet
    replied
    It was a bit peculiar. The pitch in Athlone where Connacht used to play was Dubarry Park (where Ireland U20s also used to play) Dubarry were a shoe making factory in Balinasloe, the other half of the Buccaneers club.

    Leave a comment:


  • ustix
    replied
    Originally posted by Piquet View Post

    Ballinasloe. (Where Garbally College is.)
    Thanks Piquet. Iirc Connacht were even looking at moving there at one stage

    Leave a comment:


  • Piquet
    replied
    Originally posted by ustix View Post
    There was a strong and instantaneous response to the rise of Buccaneers in the AIL years ago. Should but can't remember who it was that amalgamated with Athlone to make it happen
    Ballinasloe. (Where Garbally College is.)

    Leave a comment:


  • ormond lad
    replied
    Originally posted by Finnegan79 View Post

    The thing is that right now, leinster are producing these kids one after the next in a seemingly never ending supply of talented rugby players who can make it at least at the pro14 and HC level.. The next ones coming out of the academy can't get game time b/c the guy who is ahead of him isn't all that much older and coaches aren't going to constantly chop and change. Ross Byrne is 24, Frawley is 22, and we're already hearing about Harry Byrne, and that's just in one position. Barring injuries, we may not have seen the Doris, Deegan and Connors get the game time they've gotten; they'd be stuck behind other young guys or guys in their primes like Conan and JVDF. They have too many players for too few spots. Even at Munster, Carbery is 24, yet people are banging on about Healy as "the future." The present hasn't gone anywhere yet. (assuming he can return to fitness) Before the money became worth moving for, the 4th choice guys would probably hang the boots up at 25, 26, even though he could have made the switch and gotten game time. These days the money is too good to pass up so guys are going to move if they get the chance.

    Transforming the schools to produce rugby players the way Leinster's do will take serious time. Neil Francis talks a lot of absolute rubbish, but he mentioned the marked difference between how it was in schools rugby when he plays versus the system his nephew is in. to paraphrase him, "they're practically professionals" in the way they train, the way they are looked after, how to properly eat, how much to sleep, etc etc., all so that these kids can be turned into rugby players ready to try and turn pro. Looking at the results, i tend to believe him. If the Munster schools move towards that, yeah, it would be good, but that would take a long time to implement. Once they did, the question then is, what about the players Leinster are pumping out ? The IRFU doesn't want to lose them, even if they're not front line starters at 20-23.

    The reality is that the numbers of talented players is going to continue to expand while the squad sizes of the 4 provinces will probably stay the same. The bottom line is that the IRFU is either going to need a 5th team in order to hang onto players or they're going to have to move players along sooner than they currently do. It will either lose them when they're young or lose them when they're 29-30 b/c there is too much talent coming behind them and not enough spots to keep everyone playing high level rugby.
    trying to copy leinster isnt the answer. We wont get a schools system like leinster. We have the clubs and the u16/18 competitions to use to really develop players. Get more schools playing and have kids training more with then but main focus for most should be the Munster u16/18 cups
    we wont ever have a 5th Irish side we at best could get A sides playing more games through the season for players to remain pros within Irish set up

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  • ustix
    replied
    There was a strong and instantaneous response to the rise of Buccaneers in the AIL years ago. Should but can't remember who it was that amalgamated with Athlone to make it happen
    Last edited by ustix; 20-December-2019, 19:05.

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  • Finnegan79
    replied
    Originally posted by ustix View Post

    So would you go with London as a fifth province or let them at it in exile while developing a ffth province say in Athlone?
    London Irish as a fifth team wouldn't work unless there was a British and Irish League or there was an agreement with the premiership that it would be run along the lines of the current provinces with regards to player welfare / Ireland camp release, etc. A fifth team smack in the middle of Ireland could work if the supporters in the surrounding area bought in immediately, which is always an issue when a new team sprouts up. The Welsh regions are in the state they are in part b/c of how they were formed; people still identify more with their clubs and haven't bought into the regions as "their team". There is no easy solution right now b/c supply is outpacing the available spots. At some point you'll see youngsters moving abroad earlier in greater numbers b/c they don't want to linger on the bench waiting for an injury to snatch a chance.

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